The shirtless, bandaged stranger recuperating in teacher Piper St. James's room behind the schoolhouse says he's a McKettrick, but he looks like an outlaw. As they wait out the storm, the handsome loner has Piper remembering long-ago dreams of marriage and motherhood. But for how long is Sawyer willing to call Blue River home?
As the gray skies clear, Piper's one holiday wish just might bring two lonely hearts together forever.
My Review: I love romances where a couple is stranded together in a blizzard and fall in love, and this historical western fit the bill just perfectly. Piper is from Maine and still quite wary of the "wild west". Even though she's terrified at the thoughts of caring for what looks like an injured outlaw, she soon discovers that he's an honorable gentleman who makes a surprising proposal to protect her reputation. She can't help but wonder though how long he'll stick around, especially when Sawyer comes face to face with the man who tried to kill him...how that confrontation ended was a shocker!
I loved the characters of Bitter Gulch Saloon madam Bess Turner and her daughter (one of Piper's favorite students) Ginny Sue. These two are featured prominently by the end of the book and I'd love to get to know them better in a story of their own. Last year I enjoyed Clay and Dara Rose's story (A Lawman's Christmas) so I was happy to get the opportunity to catch up on their lives in this book as well. The Christmas books are the only McKettrick family stories I have read by Linda Lael Miller, but I'll definitely be going back to check out the rest of the clan. Sawyer's mother Mandy, a former Wild West Show performer, looks particularly interesting!